Edited by: Maira Zamir, Peer Career Coach

I graduated from IIT in 2010 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing. Since graduation, I’ve worked at digital marketing agencies, earned a MBA from Northwestern University and am now working at Adobe as a Sr. Customer Success Manager. In my role, I manage the relationship between Adobe and large enterprises to help them achieve success with Adobe’s digital experience technology.

What is the greatest lesson you learned during your time as a student at IIT?

Keep an open mind – I came in as a premed student but within the first year, I realized I was not interested in medicine and switched my major. Outside of academics, I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities such as TechNews and Union Board – I didn’t realize I would learn just as much from their extracurricular experiences as I did from my classes. Keeping an open mind when meeting new people, when presented with a new project or opportunity helped me get the most out of my college experience and continues to shape my career.

Did you have an internship in your undergrad? If so, what advice do you have for people who will be interning or doing co-op in the future?

I was an intern with the Illinois Governor’s Office as I had developed an interest in government and public policy. My internship turned into my first job – my advice is to stretch yourself to learn as much as you can and develop relationships during your internship, so that if you enjoyed the internship, you have a pathway to a full-time role at the same company after you graduate.

What is one major thing you learned when you stepped into the professional world after graduating?

I have two things!

  1. There will be someone smarter than you in a room. Approach situations with humility, ask questions, and listen. If you don’t know how to solve a problem, learn to ask others for help – it’s not a sign of weakness. Knowing your own strengths and your own areas of opportunity can drive your success.
  2. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer! Especially earlier in your career, most employers are not expecting you to come in with expertise. You will develop expertise on the job, as you work in the field, understand your company, and understand the industry.

How did you land your first job?

My first job was a Fellowship at the Illinois Governor’s Office. I had interned with the office the year prior, so my name and my work were familiar. I learned about the Fellowship during my internship and when time came to apply, I applied and got the job.

What advice would you give to graduates of 2020?

I was recently listening to an interview on the Freakonomics podcast with the founding editor of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly; something he said has stayed with me.

“Being enthusiastic is worth 25 I.Q. points.”

Enthusiasm isn’t literally worth 25 I.Q. points of course but his point was that people love working with people who are enthusiastic, even if they are not the genius in the room. Enthusiasm embodies the excitement to learn, to imagine what’s possible, and to collaborate with others to solve problems.

Be enthusiastic!

Alumni Spotlight: Lory Mishra